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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12641
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My mother died in 1992, my dad in 2011. He had re-married.

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Hi, my mother died in 1992, my dad in 2011. He had re-married. My mum's life insurance mostly paid off the mortgage but he then sold it and gave the majority of the sale proceeds to his new wife to buy half her house. She had no mortgage so she invested it. They then sold that property and bought another together, held TIC 50/50. He died leaving us some money but with her having a life interest in his share of the property. My brother and I aren't entitled to anything until she dies. She has admitted she is financially secure but I have two young children and am in severe financial difficulty. I'm sure my mum would have wanted my brother and I to have her share of our family home so, in effect, a quarter of the share of the property is hers. I'd like the property sold but releasing only half the trust to my brother and I, leaving my dad's wife with a life interest in the remaining half. Is there any way I can pursue that without a solicitor? I have some legal experience so feel able to do it myself but I don't know where to start. For the record, I have asked my dad's wife several times for help but she never responds.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: No, I haven't talked to a lawyer because I can't afford it. I'm in the UK.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have written to my dad's wife several times but she doesn't respond.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thank you.

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question but need more info - also be aware this is an email not chat service and therefore maybe delayed in replying.

does she have any children/beneficiaries?

how old is she and in good health?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
She is 77 and in good health, with grown up children who have no dependents. I assume they are beneficiaries.

As I was reading your question I was thinking that this is quite normal and not unusual. I then got to the part about your father leaving your stepmother the life interest in the property and that too is quite normal.

I’m sorry to say that your own financial circumstances are not particularly relevant although I would need to exactly how much money the was flying around here is how much he left you there is a statute which is the Inheritance Provision for Family & Dependents whereby anyone who dies must leave adequate financial provision for anyone who is dependent or had a reasonable expectation of inheriting from there will although, any such claim is much difficult to bring if the person that died left everything to their spouse. However as your father died in 2011 You Are Way out of time for such a claim because you only have 12 months from the date of death..

The way the court would look at this is that your mother died in 1992 and if she had wanted you to have her share of the home, into her will.

If she is living in the property it’s going to be virtually impossible to insist that the property is sold. Even if she’s not, it’s not going to be easy and I think that you are going to be 50-50 at best here.

Before rushing off to court even if you are doing it yourself, even a solicitor would normally put these facts in front of a barrister for an advice and that’s what I would suggest you did before going any further.

I would suggest that you put these facts in front of Chancery Counsel for an opinion on the likely chance of success and if the barrister gives it 60% or greater, you could look round for a solicitor to deal with this on a no win no fee basis and if you can get one, the solicitor may be able to obtain after the event insurance that would pay the legal costs in the event this goes to court and you are not successful. Because, there is no reason why you cannot do it yourself but the problem is that the insurance is then no longer available and if you go to court and lose, you could easily be on the receiving end of a costs order for tens of thousands of pounds and potentially here 30 or GBP50,000.

I would start with the barristers advice which is probably going to cost you about GBP800 plus VAT.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


F E Smith and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi, thanks so much for coming back to me. You have given me a lot to think about. I will rate you as soon as I finish here.